Philobiblon: Saying the unsayable on stage

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Saying the unsayable on stage

Get together a group of women who've lived, loved and lost, mix in some alcohol and the freedom from inhibition that comes the luxury of "us" time, and you'll hear things that make young males blush to their fingertips.

I can only conclude that the writer and director of The Ark, The Bride and the Coffin, who happens to be a bloke, has been listening in to many such evenings. For what is distinctive about Andrew Neil's three discrete, if linked by theme and motif, short plays is that the characters always say the unsayable, always complete those sentences usually left to trail away into embarrassed silence.

Anal sex, penis size, menstruation, miscarriage and more - none of the gory details are veiled in silence. This is the female experience laid out in pain and anger, and many, many laughs. (Happily this is all talk, not action.)

The production company, inaccurately called fluff, was formed two years ago to promote "good writing and roles for women", and there's a lot of both here, at The Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington, for the six-strong female cast to put their hearts into. READ MORE


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